Not mentioned in the article is the possibility of sensor networks making for leaps forward in the efficiency of materials use - particularly where data on where and how much waste is generated (say in manufacturing) is interoperable and open for all to see hitherto unseen new business opportunities. It is not hard to imagine a zero waste world built off the trends described.
Smarter product designs, support for developing country waste management schemes, and encouraging developed country households not to ‘squirrel away’ old electronic goods in drawers and closets could help boost recycling of metals world-wide.
According to this report, recycling rates of metals are in many cases far lower than their potential for reuse. Less than one-third of some 60 metals studied have an end-of-life recycling rate above 50 per cent and 34 elements are below 1 per cent recycling, yet many of them are crucial to clean technologies such as batteries for hybrid cars to the magnets in wind turbines, says the study.
“In spite of significant efforts in a number of countries and regions, many metal recycling rates are discouragingly low, and a ‘recycling society’ appears no more than a distant hope,” states the Recycling Rates of Metals: A Status Report, compiled by UNEP’s International Resource Panel.
While humans tend to ignore any utility in goods that have reached the end of their “useful” existence, nature is constantly recycling waste into entirely new products. “This fundamental difference,” writes Thomas C.
Research has addressed the mounting problem of polymers from the electronics sector entering the waste stream. An EU-funded research team investigated a fully recyclable polymer and have developed new moulding methods for components.
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New Haven, Conn. -- An international policy is needed for recycling scarce specialty metals that are critical in the production of consumer goods, according to Yale researchers in Science. "A recycling rate of zero for specialty ...
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In many application fields such as home, industry, environment and health, different Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) applications have been developed to solve management problems with smart implementations.
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